Covid Q&A with School Nurse Amber Fox McNeil



Mrs. Fox McNeil chose Hollis/Brookline Coop school district to be closer to her kids. Just over 10 years later, she is still here making a positive impact at the high school.

Kelsey Sova, Staff Writer

Amber Fox McNeil, the HBHS nurse, has been in the Hollis/Brookline district for over 10 years. She and her colleagues have put in so much effort to make our school run smoothly in these challenging years that we have had. On January 6, Amber Fox McNeil was questioned by CavChron staff writer, Kelsey Sova, on her nursing career and how COVID-19 affected it.


CavChron: How long have you been a nurse in the Hollis/Brookline District?

Since 2009 I think.


What made you choose nursing for a career?



What made you choose specifically school nursing?

Mostly flexibility because when I started I had another job, I was actually just a sub, so this was kind of just a plug-in [to] be helpful. I liked the fact I could be a nurse where my kids were going to school.


If you could have chosen something other than nursing, what would you have chosen?

Social work, which now I’m doing. I have a masters, almost, in social work. 


What is your favorite part of nursing?

Helping people.


What other nursing specialties are you interested in, like Emergency Room, Pediatrics, things like that?

First, I was a surg. tech (surgical technologist), I am and I continue to be interested in surgical nursing; that just didn’t work out for my family very well because you have to be there for surgeries at six am. But I think more psychiatric and holistic kind of nursing.


How has COVID affected a normal school year for school nurses?

I just said to the other nurse yesterday, what did we do with all of our time, this is just all consuming, it’s really all consuming. What has it done? It’s hijacked normal nursing.


Has COVID impacted your career and if so, how?

COVID has definitely impacted my career; now I work after school. During COVID, we are doing after hours nursing. We are working closely with the state. I think it’s helped me feel better about going into social work, and just kind of doing social work and nursing together because of the emotional and mental aspect. I think stress is a huge, huge, component of what we see here and we can’t really treat that with Ibuprofen and Tylenol, so I am happy to be building up my tool kit for understanding whole person nursing. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen in your career?

I think that it was actually something I scheduled for my daughters and myself. We went to Cameroon and we helped with two health clinics in Cameroon and those were extremely eye opening because they had HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) cases. 


What other hobbies do you have outside of nursing?

I am a student. I have [also] been a violin and fiddle teacher since I’ve been 18, so lots of years, so music definitely. 


Amber Fox McNeil, known as Mrs. Fox to students, continues to help each student that walks through the health office doors everyday. She is always willing to help anyone and she continues to be a positive aspect of this school.